• Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 34,686 other followers

  • Twitter Tweets

  • Advertisements

High-Tech Sports Experience: 3 Venues With All the Bells and Whistles

There is now a game within the game in every major professional sports league. The race is on, not just to win a championship, but to build the biggest, best and most technologically advanced stadiums and arenas.

High-Tech Sports Experience

With stiff competition from HD televisions and cable packages that allow fans to watch every game with a crystal-clear view from the comfort of their couch, getting butts in the seats has become increasingly difficult. So owners know they need to offer a truly unique fan experience, in addition to the game, if they want to keep charging top-dollar entry fees.

Sports franchises are waging battle to make every seat in the stadium not just the best seat in the house — but the best seat in any house. These are the venues that have made the impossible possible and brought a new level of technology to the sporting world.

AT&T Stadium: Dallas, Texas

When the eccentric Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones opted to build a new stadium in 2009, you knew it wasn’t going to be ordinary. And, as they say, everything is bigger in Texas.

In this case, we’re talking about a Jumbotron, and leave it to the Cowboys to find a way to make something that already has “jumbo” in its name seem small. Through some feat of engineering and architecture, the team found a way to build and install a 72-foot tall by 160-foot wide screen that is suspended over the field.

Since its unveiling six years ago, this technology has become a bit more commonplace. The team’s closest rival, the Houston Texans, put an even bigger screen in its stadium, and the NBA’s Indiana Pacers now has a similarly mammoth screen in its arena. But Dallas, as Jerry Jones is quick to tell everyone, was first.

Levi’s Stadium: Santa Clara, California

There has never been a sports facility like Levi’s Stadium. It is Silicon Valley to the core, and while some nostalgic San Francisco 49ers fans may miss the outdated dump that was their former home, Candlestick Park, there is no denying that its replacement is as special as they come.

All 70,000 fans can connect to Wi-Fi and 4G networks, which is a much more impressive achievement than it may sound. Such connectivity has been hard to replicate even for smaller crowds. So how did they do it? With 400 miles of cables, 1,200 antenna systems, a Wi-Fi router for every 100 seats and 40 gigabytes per second of bandwidth.

Fans shouldn’t just rely on technology inside the stadium, however. If you plan to go, be sure to purchase your tickets through Ticketmaster’s NFL exchange to ensure their authenticity. Then, when you’re wowed by the environment, you can buy your seat to the next game right from your seat.

Golden State’s Arena of the Future: San Francisco, California

The only contender to knock Levi’s Stadium off its number-one perch is right near in, you guessed it, Silicon Valley. The NBA world champion Golden State Warriors had already designed its new arena before they won the title in June, but now its upcoming move from Oakland to San Francisco is being even more anticipated than before. While the basketball should be great, the amenities might be even more impressive.

Since it isn’t expected to host games until the 2017-18 season, it is hard to say exactly what futuristic technologies will await fans lucky enough to attend on opening night. But, since experts say computer processing doubles every few years, this place is certain to be the most advanced of all time. Developers are already testing virtual reality and motion-sensor capabilities, so who knows? Perhaps a hologram of reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry will take the court.


Romance Scams Revisited

A while back, I wrote a blog post entitled Take the Money and Run. It was about a woman, who tried to trap me in a romance scam. I thought it might be fun to share some portions of exchanged emails and make some brief commentary. We will call that woman by the name of Gertrude, which is Hamlet’s mother and Queen of Denmark.

Here’s the first email I received in July of 2014.

“My name is Gertrude, a friend of yours from Linkedln, and i got your address from your contact info. I like your looks, you are cute and you remind me of someone i used to know. i would love to be friends with you meanwhile Thanks a lot”

The person goes on to say they are a nurse in Nigeria and work for UNICEF. Here are the clues something is wrong:

Notice the works “with you meanwhile Thanks a lot”? If someone is really a nurse, they should have had some basic courses in English composition. That means knowing when to punctuate a sentence and begin a new one.

They are really NOT friends with me on LinkedIn. They don’t have many connections (i.e. only one or two) and nobody recommending them or endorsing them.

Well, this does sound interesting, so I decided to correspond. Granted, we only exchanged or two emails daily. But two days into the correspondence, she wrote about her mom dying and a past bad relationship. The problem is that if I want out with someone and went on two dates three or four hours long, neither of us would bring up family members passing or bad past relationships. At least, that has been my experience. But this person brought it up in casual email conversations.

Five days later, this was part of the email I’ve received from her:

“ It sounds so good to talk about ones feelings and never hold back and just being truthful and sincere, what we have now is the mirror of the kind of relationship I would love to go into, a real genuine relationship based on honesty. Well, as you know its the joy of every woman to have a family and its my dream here too, i want to have my own kids and a loving man in my life, to love and take care of them.”

“I am really interested in wanting to know about what makes you the special person you are today, i can date anyone as long as there is love between us. I want to know more about your family, your background, your life experiences, your goals and dreams, your interests, and anything else you want to tell me…”

Moving a bit fast, don’t you think?

Then came the con and here’s part of an email, where she shared she was sick:

“The doctor advised me to get my own food stuffs since that’s what i have always done, he also prescribed some stronger meds and anti-biotics for me to get. he said i needed them urgently or i risk getting worse cause the ones i am on right now aren’t strong enough. i am so scared here my dear, I asked the camp commandant if she will be able to help me get the food and meds from outside the camp cause i am very weak and i wont be able to go the distance needed to get them myself. she agreed to help me. But the problem i have right now is that i don’t have any money on me now. As a worker i do get paid some amount of money when I’m back home and we get little allowances for personal upkeep here,…”

What can we learn here? If you read the original post, I was asked for money. I took a day or two before responding and did some background investigation. I found out it was a scam and didn’t respond. The moral? People don’t show up with offers of much money, lottery prizes, etc., unless you are related to rich people or entered the lottery by buying a ticket. A beautiful woman doesn’t fall for you in a few days via email. In fact, it might take a few real dates, before any chemistry is happening between you. And if folks want you to buy something, give money, etc., without you taking time to check things out – walk away.

If Amazing Peter Spiderman returns – what happens to Superior?

If Amazing Peter Spiderman returns – what happens to Superior?

Ultimate Doctor Octopus. Art by Mark Bagley.

Ultimate Doctor Octopus. Art by Mark Bagley. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As you probably know, Dan Slott took a big risk. He killed off Peter Parker and replaced his mind with that of Doctor Octopus. The end result was a highly intelligent Spiderman rendition, which is both ambitious and ruthless. In many instances, Doc likes to act first and reflect upon the conscious ramifications later. This rendition was called the Superior Spiderman.

They recently announced a relaunch of Amazing Spiderman upon various popular comic blogs. It’s not stories before the death of Peter. This is the original Peter – just in time for a new movie version being released.

When I first heard of Superior, I was furious that they were killing of a popular character. But I did see a statement by Stan Lee somewhere, that he believes Peter would return. Stan is the original guy behind Marvel Comics. But I did enjoy some moments of what Dan accomplished. The final war with the Green Goblin should be very interesting. We also have the mystery of Doc’s original body missing from the grave. What’s up with that?

In a way, perhaps Doctor Octopus would have gone straight, had he been given a change. I seem to recall Al Capone being asked why he was a bootlegger. He replied that he could have been a company CEO, had he put his mind to it. Then we have the movie Catch Me If You Can by Frank Abagnale. Frank successfully impersonated an Airline pilot, a physician and a lawyer. In fact, he passed the bar exam, without ever attending law school.

But Frank’s real talent was being a counterfeiter. You could say he made a fortune that way. But Frank went on to work for the FBI and was given amnesty. He also made millions as a security consultant for many banks and financial firms. Now why can’t Doctor Octopus be given a similar role? After all, he could be very effective combining his brain with Peter.

Ultimate Green Goblin.

Ultimate Green Goblin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dan Slott did take a risk. But it was a stroke of genius. Rather that doing a reboot like DC Comics did, he performed a variation of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Don’t get me wrong. I like what DC Comics is doing. Imagine Superman and Wonder Woman being a romantic couple? Or how about bringing Batman and Superman back together? And what about going deep into the origins and spectrum of the Green Lanterns?

Back at Marvel, I do want to know some things. Like who is the current Green Goblin? How will the original Peter get his body back? And what will happen to Doc? Will he have his brain patterns placed inside the living robot? And how will Peter straighten out the reputation that Doc messed up?

Well Dan, at first I hated what you did. Then I discovered you will also be writing the new Amazing. I like to see how you clean up the Doctor Octopus mess.



Enhanced by Zemanta

Top 7 reasons to buy an electric car

Top 7 reasons to buy an

English: Google Electric Car Seciurity 2008 (V...

English: Google Electric Car Seciurity 2008 (Viaje con SafeCreative a San Francisco al Creative Commons Technology Summit en GooglePlex) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

electric car

Almost everybody knows that an electric vehicle is much cleaner than a vehicle that uses gas; not only is it better for the environment, it can save you some a lot of money too. However, many people are dissuaded from investing in an electric car when it’s much better to buy a new electric car now than to invest in a used non-electric car. Here are the top 7 reasons to buy an electric car:

Electric cars have a far lower cost per mile

Electricity to refuel an electric car is far cheaper than gasoline and there are electric vehicle charging stations providing power free of charge. The sooner you sell your gasoline guzzling car, the sooner you’ll save the planet and have more money in your wallet.

Electric cars are eco-friendly and get cleaner as time goes on

If you want to do your bit for the planet, switching to an electric car will help. As coal and other fossil fuel plants used to produce electricity are replaced with cleaner resources, the vehicle will actually get cleaner as time goes on.

The price of gasoline can’t be predicted

The price of gas is constantly going up and down and has been predicted to stay that way for the next 3 decades. Electricity prices remain fairly consistent, rising slightly each year making budgeting for your vehicle much easier. Your electric vehicle is also unlikely to be affected by gasoline shortages and other similar events.

There are government incentives to buy

English: A Tesla Roadster, Reva i and Ford Th!...

English: A Tesla Roadster, Reva i and Ford Th!nk electric cars parked at a free parking and charging station near Akershus fortress in Oslo, Norway (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These daysthe government offers many cash incentives to urge you to buy an electric vehicle. Sometimes you can also get money off your insurance policy and you can get money back on some electric cars. These incentives won’t be around for ever and you can capitalize on them by investing in an electric vehicle early.
They’re great for all occasions

Even if you need to take longer trips than the range of your fully charged electric car, a plug in hybrid is an electric car that has no limits at all. They have batteries in them that were made for longer trips, but they can also be transformed into a gasoline hybrid if you need to take a longer trip. Perfect for every occasion!

You can charge it from home

Although there are charge points you can top up your car from, there’s no need for you to drive anywhere to charge your car – you can do it right from the comfort of your own home.

Maintenance is simple

In an electric car, you’ll find far fewer moving parts than in a car that takes gas, plus there’s nothing combustible in it. Pair this with the fact that you can charge it from home and you’ll find that an electric car is the perfect choice for your next vehicle.

By now you should be convinced that an electric car is the way forward. When you buy your next vehicle, consider switching from gasoline to a modern electric car. Make the swap and do your bit for the environment.


This article was written by Bradley Taylor, a freelance writer from Derby, UK. Bradley is a motoring enthusiast who loves writing about cars and everything automotive but he is versatile and writes across a variety of other topics. More about Bradley at Bradley on Google+.



Unusual inspirations for a new age writer

Unusual inspirations for a new age writer

English: This is a photograph I personally too...

English: This is a photograph I personally took when Wayne Dyer came by my television station (KUSI-TV in San Diego) in March 2009. This is NOT a screen shot. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t usually read new age books. It started with watching a PBS pledge drive special, with Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. It was based upon the book Wishes Fulfilled: Mastering the Art of Manifesting. If I find an interesting book, I check out the reviews on Amazon. Approximately four hundred reviewers and/or raters gave it an average of approximately five stars. I would stay away from books with less than 31 reviewers. I use 31 as a minimum number for a statistical sample. Less than that probably signifies the reviewers are the author’s friends.

Next, I checked with my local public library. Can they get me a copy either at their library or via the inter-library loan program? I’m in luck. They can get a copy.

I do believe that a positive mindset can effect reality. After al, I do watch the Christian motivational speaker Joel Osteen each week on TV. He has a variation of the health and prosperity gospel. And I have read The Secret, Christian health and prosperity books, new thought books and Christian Science literature. While the evidence is anecdotal evidence, there is a considerable number of stories. They haven’t been subject to medical double bind studies, or the statistical studies of disciplines like psychology.

What surprises me? The two role models of Dr. Dyer.

St Francis of Assai

St. Francis is a Catholic saint. He’s also a good role model for young, evangelical Christians concerned with ecology issues. I’ve leaned this from a PBS Christian religious show called 30 Good Minutes. But he’s so far removed from new thought stuff. I’m not complaining. Dr. Dyer can gain good stuff from St. Francis. St. Francis is on my list of folks to read, study and emulate.

Lao Tzu, traditionally the author of the Tao T...

Lao Tzu, traditionally the author of the Tao Te Ching (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Lao Tzu

If you don’t know, he’s considered the father of Taoism and the author of the Tao Te Ching. But a Wiki article gives some good stuff on him and the book. It says this: “In the mid-twentieth century a consensus had emerged among scholars that the historicity of Laozi was doubtful or unprovable and that the Tao Te Ching was ‘a compilation of Taoist sayings by many hands.’” Again, I have to agree with Dr. Dyer that the Tao Te Ching is a good book to read and study. There are several translations available on Amazon and via your local public library.

The social engagement element

You should look at the world from many advantage points. I’m also reading a book by a Catholic theologian and former priest. It’s entitled Without Buddha I Could Not Be a Christian by Paul F. Knitter. It also has approximately a 5 star rating, with around 40 reviewers. It does exceed my magical 31 numerically threshold.

In Buddhism, you have various meditation formats (i.e. Depending on the school), to develop wisdom and compassion. But Paul was also a Catholic, wrestling with the El Salvador dictatorship, supported by the US under President Regan. During that time, our philosophy was that an evil dictator is better than a communist leader. And I can’t erase from my mind the author’s image.  Imagine two nuns with AK47 guns standing guard duty.  Liberation theology was big back then.

Social engagement is missing from New Age, Christian Science and Health and Prosperity gospel teachers and preachers. Their stance is if everyone followed what they teach, you won’t need social engagement. But it contradicts what Christ and other great religious and philosophical figures taught.

Anyway, enough reflections for today.




Will the real Peter Parker ever return?

Will the real Peter Parker ever return?

The Green Goblin, redesigned for the movie Spi...

The Green Goblin, redesigned for the movie Spider-Man played by Willem Dafoe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That’s a good question. As you know, the current comic has Doc Ock placing his consciousness into Peter’s body and taking over his life. What does Doc bring to the table?

  • He’s an egomaniac
  • He likes to kill people
  • He likes to build technical gadgets, like spider robot monitors and giant robots.

Many folks like the current direction, only because it is different.

Now there is a Marvel Comics hero in Texas that likes to kill people (I.e. Scarlet Spider). And while folks like Iron Man build technology into their suits, they don’t build a bunch of external technology to do all their information gathering or fighting.  Instead of spider robots, how about technology that communicates with real spiders?  Let them do the scouting for you. After all, Scarlet Spider can do that, just like Henry Pym does with ants.

And what about this adversary called the Green Goblin? They has been no direct confrontation yet between him and Spiderman. The Green Goblin did figure out a way to avoid the Spiderman robots gathering info. Someone in a commentary thinks the Green Goblin is Peter merged with Norman Osborn. Interesting theory. Could be.

While DC has temporary retired heroes like Batman, Green Lantern and Flash, they always had another person take up the mantel. Hal Jordan dies as Green Lantern. He’s the Sphere for a while. But he’s eventually revived. Barry Allan is brought back from the speed force. There was an article entitled 6 Possible Ways To End ‘Superior Spider-Man’

What will be his downfall?  The endless stream of Marvel telepathic heroes and villains, Symbiotes. super intelligent heroes and/or villains, folks like Doctor Strange, Madam Web, Green Goblin, or even the original Peter Parker himself?

And what about big brother?

Spiderman also has humans helping him, who have uniforms they came from the Hydra surplus store. He’s more like big brother than President Obama. Spiderman is called a hero for being big brother and Manning and Snowden are labeled traitors for exposing big brother (I.e. I’m not judging them, folks.  It’s for international law courts to do so – if thy can catch them). And is Putin any better? Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Would the Avengers, ACLU, law enforcement, etc., put up with a robot assault on the criminal organization called Shadow Land?

Will Peter ever return? Sure. When Marvel marketing shows folks no longer like Doc Ock.

Other readings

I do read serious books at times. I recently got a copy of Without Buddha I Could Not Be a Christian by Roman Catholic Paul F. Knitter, after reading about the book on Amazon and seeing the reviews. I do side with many ideas he has, in that experiential approaches like Buddhism (I would also add yoga and  Native American ceremonies to the mix), can give us a better perspective on the Christian faith.

I as a conservative Anglican, have wrestled with ideas like hell and the end times. I  found that Christian inclusivism and annihilation are theological ideas I can buy into, which mainstream theologians and churches also do. I can’t jump on the universalism bandwagon, but I can agree with Eastern Orthodox in expressing it as a hope. And I agree with the health and prosperity gospel – to a point. While Christ fled us from sin, he also fled us from the curse of illness and poverty.




Wagon Wheel, Superior-Spiderman, Straight Talk and Ooma

Wagon Wheel, Superior-Spiderman, Straight Talk and Ooma

Wagon Wheel

I Got Nothin'

I Got Nothin’ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This actually is a number one country song on US 99. It’s kind of a catchy song. When I did a lookup on YouTube, the singer Darius Rucker is a black singer. I thought he looks more like a blues then a country singer. I did enjoy the original video by Old Crow Medicine Show but enjoy Darius Rucker’s singing better.

Who is Darius? A little Wiki research showed him belonging to Hootie and the Blow Fish – a rock group. And while the Old Crow Medicine Show wrote the song, the chorus came from an unpublished Bob Dylan song. Bob and the band share a 50/50 royalties on this song.

Superior Spider-man

Folks are getting upset because they placed a villain – Doctor Octopus – within the body of Peter Parker (AKA Spiderman).

I believe a more interesting story line is along the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde variety. Sometimes Peter would emerge and dominate. Other times, Otto would emerge and dominate. And nobody in the Marvel universe can cure this dilemma. As far as genius goes, Otto is more systematic in his approaches. But Peter could cook up something brilliant, on the spur of the moment. Dr Otto and Mr. Parker would be far more interesting.

I’m not so concerned with Peter going away for a while. After all, look how long Barry Allen (i.e Flash) and Hal Jordon (i.e. Green Lantern) had been away. Both had been away awhile and eventually came back.

Is Doc Ock being more ruthless a plus? After all, both Batman and DareDevil beat up bad guys and can be brutal at times.

The biggest problem with erasing Peter’s memories is this: Doc Ock loses all the Kung Fu stuff the Master of Kung Fu taught. Wouldn’t he be a more effective fighter if the also remembered this stuff?

Doc Ock is only interesting to me, when he battles someone of equal or superior intellect – like the current Green Goblin. After all, the Goblin just found a design flag in his mechanical spiders to exploit.

Ooma and Straight Talk home phone

I enjoy Ooma Premier and OBI with Google Voice over the Straight Talk Verizon network. But the Straight Talk service is a good complimentary system to a VOIP solution. I used to pay ATT about 38 dollars a month, just for a basic POTS system. That doesn’t take into play paying extra for local and long distance calls. Now I can run Ooma Premier, OBI, Skype and Straight Talk for less than my original ATT service.

The Straight Talk device did seem to effect my Motorola surfboard modem. Originally, I placed it in the same room the modem was in. The modem started making strange noises. It stopped after I moved the Straight Talk device into another room.

Then there’s Skype. I have it set to forward to Google Voice. When it rings Google Voice, it identifies the caller as Skype. But there is a minor glitch. If I’m on the computer, it still does call forwarding. But it then rings Skype after Google Voice rings twice.